TNPL 2022: Kovai Kings books playoff berth after beating Royal Kings

M. Shahrukh Khan defended nine runs in the final over to help his side Lyca Kovai Kings post a five-run win against Nellai Royal Kings.

Lyca Kovai kings batsman J.Suresh Kumar in action against the Nellai Royal Kings in the Shriram Capital Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) held in Salem in Tamil Nadu.

Lyca Kovai kings batsman J.Suresh Kumar in action against the Nellai Royal Kings in the Shriram Capital Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) held in Salem in Tamil Nadu. | Photo Credit: THE HINDU

M. Shahrukh Khan defended nine runs in the final over to help his side Lyca Kovai Kings post a five-run win against Nellai Royal Kings.

M. Shahrukh Khan (2/8) led from the front with the ball in his hand, by defending nine runs in the final over against Nellai Royal Kings to help his side Lyca Kovai Kings post a five-run win and book a place in the playoffs of the Tamil Nadu Premier League here at the Salem Cricket Foundation ground on Saturday.

Chasing 178 for victory, Royal Kings - looking to finish the league stage unbeaten - was on course for victory thanks to R. Sanjay Yadav, who continued his dream run in the tournament by slamming a brilliant 54 (31b, 3x4, 4x6). 

However, Shahrukh held his nerve in the final over with his off-spin and had Sanjay miscue a slog that ballooned high up with the keeper Suresh Kumar doing well to pouch it.  

Earlier electing to bat, Kovai openers Suresh Kumar (75, 48b, 7x4, 3x6) and Ganga Sridhar Raju (48) laid the foundation with a 117-run partnership to help their team to a competitive 177/4.

The duo were circumspect initially and got a feel for the conditions before they cut loose. In the sixth over, Suresh then took charge of the innings hitting pacer K. Easwaran for three consecutive boundaries.

From there on Suresh was the aggressor hitting the left-arm spinners over midwicket for huge sixes whenever they bowled short and used the paddle and scoop shots over fine leg against the pacers to good effect.

Later, B. Sai Sudharsan chipped in with a brilliant cameo of 35 (18b, 2x4, 2x6) to finish the innings strongly and helped Kovai Kings prevail in a close encounter.

The scores: Lyca Kovai Kings 177/4 in 20 overs (J. Suresh Kumar 75, V. Ganga Sridhar Raju 48, B. Sai Sudharsan 35) vs Nellai Royal Kings 172/9 in 20 overs ( R. Sanjay Yadav 54, L. Suryapprakash 45, B. Aparajith 37, M. Shahrukh Khan 2/8, Ajith Ram 2/23).

MoM: Suresh Kumar

Sunday’s matches: At Salem: Siechem Madurai Panthers vs Ruby Trichy Warriors, 3.15 p.m.; Salem Spartans vs Dindigul Dragons, 7.15 p.m.

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